In another undated incident, the NSA did not reveal a new method of collecting communications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, a judicial body that oversees some NSA snooping, until it had been in operation for months. The FISA court struck down the new method as unconstitutional.
Overall, the NSA totaled up 2,776 violations of rules or laws from May 2011 to May 2012, according to an internal audit disclosed by the Post. This included unauthorized collections of communications, as well as unauthorized storage and distribution of collected material.
The audit and other material on which the Post story is based came from Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor recently granted temporary asylum in Russia. How important is this latest entry in the now-lengthy string of Snowden revelations?
On one hand, it’s difficult to judge whether the violations are a few or a lot, given that the context of the total number of NSA actions against which the infractions occur remains classified.